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2012 ASHA Adult Health Care and Business Institute

We had the wonderful opportunity to talk with many practitioners in hospital and rehabilitation settings as well as new and seasoned SLPs in private practice. Thanks to all the SLPs who came by our booth to ask for information about signing up to do standardization testing on the many projects that are in development. Several folks had participated in our tryout and standardization research studies before, and remarked about how interesting it was to see how “how well and how easily typically-developing children respond to test items.” As always, we received very useful feedback about our tests. If you have a comment about one of our assessments, click here to let us know.

Understanding the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering: Implications for Treatment Outcomes Research

(Note: The following is an abstract of J Scott Yaruss, PhD, CCC-SLP, BRS-FD, presentation at the 7th World Congress on Fluency Disorders in Tours, France.)

The purpose of this presentation is to discuss some of the many challenges facing speech-language pathologists seeking to evaluate treatment outcomes for individuals who stutter. Some of these challenges are related to the variable nature of stuttering, and specifically, to the fact that disrupted speech behaviors can vary notably across different speaking situations and over time. Other challenges are related to the individual nature of stuttering and the fact that every person who stutters experiences their disorder in a unique way, with unique speech characteristics and unique life impacts.

Still other challenges are more centrally related to the nature of the stuttering disorder itself—and to how the speaker’s perspective of the experience of stuttering may differ from that of the clinician or researcher. In fact, it is this fundamental difference in perspective that has led to the confusing and often conflicting findings in stuttering treatment outcomes research. Reconciling the real-world experiences of people who stutter with the assumptions of clinicians and researchers is a necessary step in the process of improving the evaluation of stuttering treatment efficacy, yet accomplishing this goal will require many speech-language pathologists to rethink their understanding of what stuttering is and what it means to be a person who stutters.

This presentation will discuss these and other issues clinicians and researchers should consider in their attempts to improve their evaluation of stuttering treatment outcomes. The presenter will review recent research on evidence-based practice and the nature of the therapeutic alliance, highlight ways that a better understanding of the speaker’s experience of stuttering can help speech-language pathologists guide their clients toward substantive changes in their lives, and propose ways that such changes can be measured in a comprehensive fashion to enhance our ability to identify the key elements of effective stuttering treatment.

36 Hours and a Blitz!

On June 13-15, we welcomed 14 professionals to San Antonio for our annual National Speech/Language Advisory Board meeting. The breadth and depth of the Board members this year ranged from grad students to professionals with 35+ years of experience, infant to geriatric specialty areas, and geographically speaking, coast to coast. With the addition of our six SLPs on staff at Pearson, that put 20 SLPs and other VIP Pearson staff in the same room for a day and a half. If only there was a pedometer-type device for “number of words spoken” that would also transfer to burning calories—we’d have all dropped 10 pounds for the amount of discussion that took place!

Topics for this year’s meeting ranged from various new technology initiatives from Pearson, to product development or product idea discussions (e.g., CELF-5, which is now in standardization), to marketing. This year’s Board didn’t hesitate to give us exactly what we wanted and needed—direct, honest, and “unfiltered” feedback. The students and new graduates were a wonderful addition to our conversation and the rest of the Board members agreed. Themes emerged, assumptions were challenged, new ideas converged and showed possibilities for the future of the professions. It was truly a dynamic meeting for everyone.

Our thanks to our 2012 Board members for the inspiration and your passion for people with communication needs!

Tina J. Eichstadt, MS CCC-SLP – Pearson Senior Product Manager

PLS-5 for Culturally Sensitive Assessment – Poster Session

At the recent Zero To Three National Institute held this month, the accepted poster, PLS-5 for Culturally Sensitive Populations provided a special look at meeting the needs for these culturally diverse populations.

A Jam Packed 2011 ASHA Convention

Never let it be said that moss grows under any SLPs’ or audiologists’ feet! If you were able to attend the ASHA Convention in San Diego a couple of weeks ago, you joined thousands of our colleagues packing as much activity as they could in just a few days. Between attending sessions, answering questions, greeting our colleagues in the booth, and attending special events, our Pearson staff members were in the same boat.

Just a few highlights:

The OASES (Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering) school-age and teen record forms received widespread kudos from SLPs who serve students who stutter. They observed in particular that this self-report of the impact of stuttering on an individual’s life will show progress when traditional stuttering measures may not.

The new OLAI-2 (Oral Language Acquisition Inventory, Second Edition) generated quite a bit of SLP interest. A noteworthy comment was, “Finally! Something solid for me to use in RTI!”

Sounds & Symbols digital storybooks created buzz in the booth! SLPs who viewed the demo of Marti Mouse, one of the beloved characters of this classic “High Hat” pre-literacy program, were excited to hear that all 39 stories from the Sounds & Symbols program will be available in January.

Dr. J. Scott Yaruss (lead author of the OASES) spoke on Pearson’s behalf as the sponsor for the Researcher-Academic Town Meeting this year. He made the connection between his research goals and the desire to disseminate that research through publications to the greater profession. “A good partnership,” he reflected, as he reviewed the last years of his work with colleagues around the country and with Pearson. Thanks, Scott!

How creative are our students in the professions? Very! The NSSHLA luncheon and awards ceremony was filled with great service acknowledgments, healthy competition, and fantastically creative student-made videos. If you have any concern about the future of our professions, they will be put to rest as you spend more time with our amazing and talented cadre of new professionals.

A new technology option for your next presentation! Presenters Judy Montgomery and Barbara Moore, who always have excellent content and great interaction within their sessions, used a tool called Polleverywhere.com—session participants responded to several questions via text message and watched their results tally instantly on screen!

And, still going strong 43 years after the first PLS was published, Dr. Irla Lee Zimmerman joined us in the booth to meet customers and answer questions about PLS-5. She had a great time talking with SLPs about the new test and the Spanish and Screening editions coming out next spring.

Reflections on the 2011 ASHA Convention

Members of the Pearson team were delighted to attend the annual ASHFoundation Founders Breakfast on Friday during the 2011 ASHA Convention. The ASHFoundation recognized 42 outstanding students, research scientists, and clinical professionals with $237,000 in scholarships, research grants, and awards. It is great to be able to support the legacy of the ASHFoundation. Click here to meet this year’s awardees: http://www.ashfoundation.org/news/2011-ASHFoundation-Awardees

Webinar Recording: Build a Foundation for Treatment in the First Weeks of School

On Monday August 8, 2011, Sarah James presented: Build a Foundation for Treatment in the First Weeks of School. The first weeks of school can be stressful and chaotic – instead of begging for “times that might work,” this session provides clinicians with strategies that help you build a solid foundation of quality support services with your teams that impact the whole school year.

You may watch the recording here:

**please note that CEUs were only offered for attending the live webinar. We are unable to provide CEUs for watching the recording.**

Highlights from the ASHA Schools Conference

Pearson was honored to be the Corporate Partner at the ASHA Schools Conference 2011, held in National Harbor, Maryland. We were delighted to have the opportunity to meet school-based SLPs and SLPAs from all across the country–so much enthusiasm and excitement! Clinicians were energized by the speakers who addressed timely topics, from autism, to social competence, to literacy, to new technology, to articulation and fluency.

Judy Montgomery, author of the Bridge of Vocabulary, presented a full day of training, with sessions on vocabulary assessment and research based interventions. Many folks dropped by to take a look at the new Preschool Language Scale-5 (PLS-5) and got a preview of the PLS-5 Spanish that will be released in Spring, 2012. The sessions addressing literacy and RTI brought clinicians by the booth to see the Assessment of Literacy and Language (ALL), an assessment that enables you to identify children at-risk for reading difficulties due to an underlying language disorder for children Preschool through Grade 1 and the new Oral Language Acquisition Inventory-2 (OLAI-2), a tool that integrates assessment and intervention for children Pre-K through Grade 6.

We had the opportunity to chat with clinicians who provide services for preschoolers, those who specialize in adolescent language, and those who work primarily with English Language Learners. The dedicated therapists we talked with provided valuable suggestions and feedback to improve assessment practices and provide guidance for clinicians in the trenches. Clinicians interested in participating in standardization research were guided to our website at http://psychcorp.pearsonassessments.com/pai/ca/FieldTesting/FieldTesting.htm to sign up for testing.

To wrap up the conference, several of us attended Michelle Shearer’s presentation on Sunday. Michelle is the 2011 National Teacher of the Year. Her focus on the importance of communication and the personal connection that is critical to motivate students to achieve struck a chord with the audience (of course!), who gave Michelle a standing ovation.

We look forward to meeting you at next year’s conference in Milwaukee, WI!

Webinar Recording: Preschool Language Scales-5: Assessing Language From 0-7

You can watch the recording of “Preschool Language Scales-5: Assessing Language From 0-7” below.

You can download the slides here.

**please note that CEUs were only offered for attending the live webinar. We are unable to provide CEUs for watching the recording.**

Top 10 of 2010 for Speech-Language-Hearing

2010 Sparkler via r.j.wagner on Flickr

In no particular order, here are they are! Our Top 10 of 2010 for Speech-Language-Hearing professionals:

  1. ASHA Honors recipients–including authors and colleagues Drs.  Judy Montgomery and Wayne Secord!
  2. ASHA Fellows–including inaugural and current EBP Briefs editors and colleagues Drs. Laura Justice and Chad Nye!
  3. Noted author, researcher, and all-around gentleman, Dr. Ronald Goldman, was the 2010 Frank R. Kleffner Lifetime Clinical Career Award recipient. Congratulations, Dr. Goldman, it was well-deserved!
  4. Mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android: Smarty Ears, Proloquo to Go, and many, many more. Apple also set up a section in their App Store called “Special Education: Learning for Everyone.”
  5. Healthcare Legislation: love it or hate it– and there’s certainly no shortage of controversy– this was certainly a notable event this year.
  6. Social Media goes mainstream: One word: #SLPeeps!
  7. OASES record forms for children as young as 7. Ok. We know this one’s about us, but we’re excited about it. There are plenty of stuttering severity measures out there. Instead, OASES assesses the impact of stuttering on the person who stutters in multiple areas of life. By Dr. J. Scott Yaruss, Dr. Bob Quesal, and Craig Coleman.

Yes. That’s only seven. But we want hear from you– what are three more things you’ll remember most about 2010? Sound off in the comments.